Patrick Jean-Baptiste wrote:
> You seem to have fallen under the orthodox theory of
> minstrelsy, which reduces the form to a simplistic
> kind of travesty of black behavior. That's only part
> of the story. Without getting too much into it, Hennig
> Cohen reported the earliest known example of minstrel
> play in the slave community at Charleston (1772). So
> minstrel behavior among blacks had parodied whites
> from the start.
> Both black & white actors of the form represent
> nothing more than this need to break out of their
> racial selves and into the other.
> I don't find Peter's account offensive at all, perhaps
> limited in perspective, but not offensive.
In case anyone is interested black face as satire here are a few links
for Spike Lee's movie "Bamboozled":